Industry Insights

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Flash Survey Results: Big Data Professionals Contacted More than Ever Before

February 16, 2015

About 18 months ago (in August 2013) we conducted a “flash survey” of our network of over 10,000 analytics professionals and data scientists to determine how often they were approached by recruiters on LinkedIn, and how often they responded to recruiters’ requests. The results, while interesting, also hinted at a larger problem within “Big Data recruiting”: skilled quantitative professionals are being haphazardly targeted by internal and external recruiters about jobs that are irrelevant to their skills and experience.A few weeks ago, we conducted a follow-up survey to see how the demand for analytics professionals and data scientists has changed. Given that the fervor surrounding analytics and data science has only increased, we were interested to see how the increased attention was affecting your LinkedIn inboxes and what we call “recruiter fatigue”.

Question 1_Primary Results

As you can see, the desperation for quantitative talent has clearly affected how often they are besieged by recruiters, with 93% being contacted at least monthly (compared to 89%), and 8% being contacted several times a week (versus 4%). With this much activity, it’s no wonder the attrition rate for quantitative professionals (18.6% changed jobs last year) is nearly double what it is for the rest of the market. As I’ve emphasized before – recruiting and retaining Big Data talent requires a very different approach than it used to. The stigma on job hoppers isn’t what it used to be either, and so the average tenure is decreasing.We also looked at how often the subset of data scientists are being contacted. As you can see (below) they are very in-demand, with 96% being contacted at least monthly and 31% being contacted several times per week – wow! I can’t imagine having to deal with that many messages, and what will these figures look like after another year of accelerating data science hype?

Question 1_DS Results

In looking at how often quantitative professionals respond to recruiters on LinkedIn, it’s clear that many are beginning to suffer from “recruiter fatigue” – the inevitable result of receiving email after email regarding irrelevant job opportunities.

Question 2_Primary Results

55% of quantitative professionals respond to recruiters half of the time or less (up from 46% in 2013), and 13% never respond (versus 7% in 2013). Although the percentage of Quants reporting that they always respond increased, I suspect that this is mostly due to (as many wrote to tell me) professional courtesy.Looking at the responsiveness of data scientists, the numbers are even more dire: 65% of data scientists respond to recruiters half of the time or less, and 11% report that they never respond. Considering how often they are being bombarded with messages, these numbers are not entirely surprising.

Question 2_DS Results

As a recruiter, I keep close tabs on trends in the talent industry, including the latest buzz around LinkedIn. It may just be me, but the buzz as of late seems to be increasingly negative. As the platform becomes oversaturated (anyone remember Monster or CareerBuilder?), recruiters need to better target their searches and be certain that the candidates they’re approaching are actually a fit for the position. Instead (as these results show), I worry that many have adopted an overzealous, spamming approach.Follow Burtch Works onTwitterorLinkedInto stay updated with our latest flash survey results, and to get the best quantitative career news and blog updates delivered right to your news feed. Check out ourYouTubechannel for access to all our latest salary information and webinars!